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First ever passive house in Georgia nearly complete with construction

CHAMBLEE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — Construction crews in Chamblee are building a home that could save homeowners money and help the environment. The first passive house in Georgia will be complete next week, paving the way towards building green homes throughout the southeast. Julie Crooks is an interior designer with Home and Made Custom […]

This low-energy housing solution could revolutionise building standards in Australia

The Passivhaus concept is an approach to designing sustainable structures by using engineering to work with, not against, the natural environment. The Canadian city of Regina was built on treeless prairie at a latitude of 50 degrees north. Temperatures in January fall to an average of minus 20°C, but summer brings its own challenges: the […]

onebulb architecture’s passive brick house in india winds communal and meditative spaces

natural materials and passive techniques shape brick veedu Set in the residential urban fabric of Madurai, India, the Brick Veedu exudes a subtle yet bold character, balancing traditional motifs with modern, metallic, and minimal elements. Onebulb Architecture gives life to the client’s requirements by realizing an abode composed of various open volumes visually interconnected with […]

The big bill to cool new Auckland townhouses

One owner’s bedroom had a temperature of 30degC at 9pm. Photo: Supplied The owners of some new build townhouses in Auckland say their homes cost twice as much to cool over summer as they do to heat in winter. The million dollar homes have just one heat pump installed on the second storey of the […]

The Passive House Network Publishes Guidance for 2024

The Passive House Network has published a new resource that clarifies the expectations and roles of the certifier in certifying buildings to Passive House building standards. The “Building Certifier Scope of Services” helps outline a range of services a certifier might provide in the process of certifying a building to Passive House standards. For builders, […]

One of France’s First Passive Houses Is on the Market for €895K

Location: Bessancourt, France Price: €895,000 (approximately $971,656 USD)  Architect: Karawitz Architecture Year Built: 2009 Footprint: 1,722 square feet (three bedrooms) Lot Size: 0.15 acres From the Agent: “Built in 2009 by  Karawitz Architecture, this contemporary house is a positive energy bioclimatic achievement, whose high environmental quality was recognized by the visit of the Minister of […]

Passive House Canada CEO highlights next steps as the climate changes

Over the next 25 to 35 years almost every building in Canada will need to be improved to make them “safe and inhabitable” as the climate changes. The “real money” spent over that period will be in deep energy retrofits, said Chris Ballard, CEO of Passive House Canada (PHC), who told a seminar audience recently […]

This Brooklyn Multifamily Community Is Sustainable—and Affordable 

Photos courtesy Chris Cooper March 5, 2024 Passive House mixed-use development Chestnut Commons provides affordable housing to formerly homeless and low-income residents within a self-sustaining neighborhood. By: Sam Lubell While Passive House standards have proved effective for single-family homes, their impact can be even more pronounced in multifamily developments, providing increased health, comfort, and affordability […]

Kansas City’s First Certified Passive House: A Milestone in Sustai…

  In the heart of Kansas City’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, a groundbreaking achievement in sustainable living has emerged, courtesy of Kalatoday. The local firm, renowned for its commitment to Passive House principles, has recently clinched an award at the Second Annual DesignKC Awards Gala for a custom home that is not just a marvel […]

From Rundown to Rejuvenated: A Melbourne Couple’s Journey to Susta…

  Imagine tearing down the walls of a dilapidated 1950s cottage with your own hands, envisioning not just a house, but a home that breathes with the earth. This is the story of Tylah Ingram and Dylan Farquhar, a Melbourne couple who, driven by a vision of sustainable living, embarked on an arduous yet inspiring […]

Buffalo Crossing visitor centre first Manitoba Passive House project

Buffalo Crossing, the new year-round visitor centre currently under construction at FortWhyte Alive, Winnipeg’s best-known nature reserve, is the first commercial project in Manitoba being built using a Passive House construction model. “Using the Passive Housing standard is part of our mission to be a leader in sustainability development,” comments FortWhyte Alive vice-president Ian Barnett. […]

Feds funding Passive House/Net Zero building for Parks Canada

Conceptual design image of the north entrance of the Administration and Visitor Centre. Credit: Parks Canada (CNW Group/Parks Canada) The Government of Canada has announced over $37 million in funding to construct an administration and visitor centre for the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area in Nipigon, Ont.; it will be Parks Canada’s first Passive […]

A first Passive House retrofit in Halifax

A circa-1850s two-storey home is being converted into an office space for Habit Studio, a women-led architecture firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The project is unique as it’s the first Passive House retrofit in the province. Once complete, it will serve as an inspiration for others pursuing deep retrofits of existing buildings, an endeavour […]

Recovering heat from shower water and 3D printed homes: the future of house building in Ireland

PLANT-BASED INSULATION, technology to recover the heat from shower waste waster, and 3D-printed homes are some of the innovations being explored as the EU moves to tackle emissions in its buildings.
A conference being held in Dublin later this month – the Zero Emissions Buildings (ZEB) Summit – aims to discuss and explore the ways to make old and new buildings in Ireland more environmentally sustainable.
According to estimates, over a third of all of the EU’s planet-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from buildings, many of which are old, poorly insulated and heated and powered by fossil fuels.
Under its international commitments, the EU aims to be fully climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This will require large-scale changes to almost every sector of society, many of which are already underway. 
For buildings, the EU has set two key targets. The first is to bring all older public and private buildings across the continent up to a proper environmental standard through a massive retrofitting programme (at a potential cost of €1 trillion).
In Ireland, the National Retrofit Plan aims to support the retrofitting of the equivalent of 500,000 homes by 2030, in order to bring them to a suitable standard. Progress has been slow however, with just under 48,000 homes supported last year, though this is a significant increase on 2022.  
The second major EU target is to ensure that all new builds on the continent are zero-emission buildings (ZEBs) by 2030. Essentially, ZEBs are buildings that produce the same amount of energy per year that they use.
It will fall to individual countries to put in place the laws and regulations to meet these targets. In Ireland, a number of innovations and avenues are being explored at industry level in order to make building more sustainable.
“Buildings in the future are not going to be consumers of energy but prosumers of energy,” said Tomás O’Leary, the managing director of Irish architecture firm Mosart. 

So a home in the future will be like a mini power plant. And the idea of those mini power plants is they should be brought to such an efficient level that they start to even out the energy consumption of the old buildings.

MosArt specialises in designing passive housing: buildings that meet very high environmental and sustainability standards.
The firm is also behind the upcoming ZEB Summit, which it is arranging in partnership with a number of groups, including Dún Laoghire Rathdown County Council.
DLRCC is currently building 597 new social and affordable homes at Shanganagh in Shankill. The scheme is supported by the Land Development Agency (LDA) and when completed will be one of the largest passive housing social schemes in Europe.
O’Leary says he designed the first passive house in the English speaking world in Wicklow in 2004, and since then he’s watched as buildings that meet a high environmental standard have become “a nice to have to a need to have”.
ZEB Summit aims to explore the shifting landscape of sustainable construction, with talks and panel discussions on a variety of different topics centred around sustainable housing construction and retrofitting programmes.

Among these, will be the use of 3D printing in home building, the use of plant-based insulation to lower emissions, and methods to recover the heat from drain water.
“Right now, every time you take a shower, all that heat and energy goes into the sewer and is completely lost,” said O’Leary.
“It’s as bad as using a plastic bottle just one time. It’s almost like single use energy. 

But in the future every house will have a very simple device that can recapture about 50-60% of the heat of the water that is going out into the sewer.

Up for discussion will also be how to manage and reduce the “embodied carbon” of buildings, that is the the greenhouse gas emissions arising from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials.
EU changes
The EU is in the process of passing a new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which will enshrine its new building targets into law, and it will then fall to each individual state to implement measures to achieve them.
The EPBD was agreed in principal in December last year, but it still needs to be voted on in the EU Parliament. That vote is due to take place later this month but work is already underway to start adapting home building for the future.
“We have achieved something remarkable… created a blueprint for the world to decarbonise its building stock,” Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe – who was the lead negotiator of the deal – said in December.

With this plan, we add an essential pillar to the EU’s decarbonisation plans  and begin the long journey towards reducing 36% of Europe’s CO2 emissions.

Climate scepticism
While the EU pushes ahead with its Green Deal and aims to decarbonise its economy, there is growing discontent from different sectors of society. 
In countries across the union, there has been a reaction against the implementation of green policies. The recent tractor protests by farmers’ groups are one indication of this.
Some experts are predicting that the upcoming European Parliament elections will see a shift towards parties and MEPs hostile to an environmental agenda.
What this means for the future of homebuilding in Europe and Ireland remains to be seen, however O’Leary of MosArt says that the drive towards sustainability is not solely being pushed by EU regulations, but by customers’ preference and, crucially, international finance.
“It’s interesting, it’s almost like the building regulations are not driving performance anymore, it’s the global drive for sustainability.

Essentially, if you don’t have the know how to deliver high performance homes you’re going to get left on the roadside.

Zeb Summit takes place on 21-21 February 

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The Best Eco Homes On The Market Right Now

Solar-powered swimming pools? Air-source heat pumps? Wildflowers on the roof? You name it, these homes have got it. If you’re searching for a luxurious contemporary property with an eco-friendly twist, look no further: these are best eco homes on the market. The Best Eco Homes on the Market Right Now Hollow Way Lane, Amersham This […]

Custom Home Design: The “Quiet Luxury”

In fashion, ‘Quiet Luxury’ emphasizes minimalist, supreme-quality pieces with timeless appeal. The trend also champions sustainability by advocating for buying apparel that’s versatile and not limited to a season (i.e., fewer clothes = less waste). Over the last decade or more, these considerations have steadily permeated every aspect of our physical lives. We buy organic, […]

Buffalo Crossing visitor centre first Manitoba Passive House project

Buffalo Crossing, the new year-round visitor centre currently under construction at FortWhyte Alive, Winnipeg’s best-known nature reserve, is the first commercial project in Manitoba being built using a Passive House construction model. “Using the Passive Housing standard is part of our mission to be a leader in sustainability development,” comments FortWhyte Alive vice-president Ian Barnett. […]

Super-Sustainable L.A. Home With Cutting-Edge Eco-Friendly Features Lists for $3.89 Million

A newly constructed contemporary-style “healthy” home in Los Angeles, the first in the city to meet the stringent sustainable building standards of the Passive House Institute US, is being listed Friday for $3.895 million. “Buyers here haven’t seen passive houses before,” said Dayna Campbell of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Encino Office, who is co-listing […]